August 22, 2008 Subject:
Local history with a sense of humor
Matt Thomson came to Wabaunsee County in 1857, when he was fourteen years old. His family lived near the Santa Fe Trail and he knew first hand the lore of the trail and early events in the county's history. As the 1883 biography below relates, he had a wide range of talents and experience which this book reflects. His account of 'Bloody Bill' Anderson is fascinating. It should be mentioned that his story "The First Log House" on page 141 is a hoax. Later in life he was editor of the Alma Signal. It was a sport of the time for newspaper editors to try and 'pull one over' on fellow editors. Scholars have found no evidence that the events in this story actually happened.
From William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.
MATTHEW THOMSON, County Superintendent, was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., in 1843. Received his education in Fayette Academy, and with his father, Mr. James L. Thomson, located in Wabaunsee County, in 1857. Besides devoting his attention to his farm of 160 acres in Wilmington Township, he was a schoolteacher for twelve years. He has been Township Clerk three terms, and is now County Superintendent of schools for the third term. Nor could the county make a better selection; himself an artist of no mean ability, an accomplished scholar and thorough gentleman, the cause of education finds in him a warm and able advocate, and Wabaunsee County will perhaps never fully realize the benefits derived from his wisdom and experience in educational training. In 1878, he married Miss Agnes Henderson, of Mission Creek Township, this county. Was a member of the Union Army during the war, serving for a time in the Quartermaster's Department. In 1863, took part in Sully's expedition against, and fight with, the hostile Indians; and ere twenty years of age had experienced many of the hardships, privations, and thrilling incidents which fell to the lot of the soldier on the Western plains during those exciting times.